Student’s Stay Strong Amidst Exam Uncertainty

Last week, the global education system was dealt a triple whammy.

Monday – jab to the chin – the International Baccalaureate program announces that they will cancel examinations for current Year 13 students. Tuesday – hook to the torso – IGCSE and IAL exams were given the heave-ho. Wednesday – cross to the chest – IELTS examinations were postponed until further notice.

By this point, most educators were seeing stars. More were cowering in fear of the almost inevitable cancellation of Hong Kong’s Diploma in Secondary Education for this year. Something yet to happen, but that seems increasingly likely given the circumstances.

The student response meanwhile has been nothing short of impressive. Despite the institutional pummelling resulting from the combination of a coronavirus pandemic and months of protests, our students have displayed incredible fortitude and resolve. With relatively limited kvetching, the examinable classes of 2020 continued to study as best they can – societal uncertainty be damned!

They endured the delays and unavoidable rearrangements to test dates caused by the protests; they worked through the confusion and mixed messaging as holidays were extended and deadlines shuffled around; they revised in anticipation of exams as international travel ground to a halt and media panic reached boiling point.

Of all the level-headed, persistent and unshakeable cohorts out there, those due to sit exams in 2020 have left us in little doubt that they can take a punch.

They aren’t the only ones to be tested. Their plight is reflected in the feelings of many of the worlds’ greatest living athletes who, following years of training and sacrifice in anticipation of representing their countries at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, believed until this week that the games would be called off. Fortunately for them, organisers opted to rearrange rather than cancel the games.

So athletes will get the chance to compete in July after all, albeit a year later in 2021. Students meanwhile will have to settle for the release of predicted grades that lack the exam component many had been rigorously preparing for.

If you are one of those students robbed of the chance to put pen to paper in this summer’s exam session, don’t be disheartened. Yes, you may not have the chance to show the world all that you’ve learnt as part of your respective courses, but trust me, there is plenty of evidence out there that attests to the greatness you are capable of.

Look at it this way: you have been given the gift of time. This is something very few students get and something everyone seeks. Use it wisely, keep training hard and building upon your skill, staying prepared should the situation on the ground change again. T

Then, during the next exam season, you can come out swinging!


Simon John
Cicero Group Limited

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